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A Theory of Medecine Effectiveness, Differential Mortality, Income Inequality and Growth for Pre-Industrial England

  • David, DE LA CROIX

    (UNIVERSITE CATHOLIQUE DE LOUVAIN, Department of Economics)

  • Alessandro, SOMMACAL

We study how mortality reductions and income growth interact, looking at their relationship prior to the Industrial Revolution, when income per capita was stagnant. We first present a model of individual medical spending giving a rationale for individual health expenditures even when medecine was not effective in postponing death. We then explain the rise of effective medecine by a learning process function of expenditures in health. The rise in effective medicine can then be linked to the take-off of the eighteenth century through life expectancy increases, and fostered capital accumulation. The rise of effective medecine has also an impact on the relation between growth and inequality and on the intergenerational persistence of differences in income. These channels are operative through differential mortality induced by medecine effectiveness that turns out to determines a differential in the propensity to save among income groups

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Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Département des Sciences Economiques in its series Discussion Papers (ECON - Département des Sciences Economiques) with number 2006025.

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Length: 34
Date of creation: 01 May 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ctl:louvec:2006025
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  1. Shankha Chakraborty & Mausumi Das, 2005. "Mortality, Human Capital and Persistent Inequality," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 159-192, 06.
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  6. Raouf Boucekkine & David de la Croix & Omar Licandro, 2003. "Early Mortality Declines at the Dawn of Modern Growth," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 105(3), pages 401-418, 09.
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  8. Zhang, Junsen & Zhang, Jie & Lee, Ronald, 2001. "Mortality decline and long-run economic growth," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 485-507, June.
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  14. Lindert, Peter H., 2000. "Three centuries of inequality in Britain and America," Handbook of Income Distribution, in: A.B. Atkinson & F. Bourguignon (ed.), Handbook of Income Distribution, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 3, pages 167-216 Elsevier.
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